A group of young mums staged a “nurse-in” at Capalaba Central Shopping Centre in Redland City, 25km south-east of Brisbane, on Friday after the centre’s security guard told Wynnum mother Shannon Hardie to stop breastfeeding in public.
Ms Hardie was feeding her two-month-old son Saige, outside Woolworths on Wednesday when she was asked to stop breastfeeding or move to in a nearby mother’s room.
She took her plight to centre management and was told to use the parents’ rooms to breastfeed and the guard was acting in line with centre regulations.
However, Capalaba Central marketing manager Vanessa Andrews later called Ms Hardie to apologise.
“She wanted to speak to me to tell me everything has been sorted out on their end,” Ms Hardie said on Facebook.
“They have made sure security is well aware of the law now and they are calling a big meeting with everyone to go over all the regulations again.
“She apologized greatly and said she was looking into how to improve the mother’s bathroom for those who do choose to use it.
“(Vanessa) also thanked some of the mothers who had been very helpful on the phone as well and told me whenever I go to the centre to feel free to breastfeed and not feel scared.”
Tingalpa mum Rhiannon Creamer, took her 21-month-old daughter, Esther, to the centre on Friday to show her support for Ms Hardie and acknowledge the centre had eventually done the right thing.
“Breastfeeding in public is legal and can take place any time and any where,” Mrs Creamer said.
“The centre manager at first said there were parents’ rooms to breastfeed but those rooms are not only disgusting they are not always convenient when you are doing shopping.
“I will change nappies in a parents’ room but they are not the most pleasant place to feed your child.
“This is a good outcome, even though it should never have happened in the first place.
"We would like to thank the marketing manager Vanessa Andrews who helped to smooth over the waters after it happened.”
Centre Manager David Smith said a customer complained about a woman breastfeeding before an “inexperienced guard” told Ms Hardie to stop feeding her baby in public.
He said the guard had since been trained and educated in the law.